14 November 2012

Genesis 15:1-21

"And he believed the Lord and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness." (v. 6)


In today's passage we are given a picture of Abram going through a number of different experiences as he walks with the Lord. He wonders about inheritance as he has no children, receives the promise that there will be many (verses 2-6); he sacrifices animals to the Lord when asked (verses 9-10) and enters into a deep trance where he hears about the future (verses 12-16) - 400 years as slaves and aliens in a strange land, after which the fourth generation will return to be blessed in a new land. Abram will not live in this promised land but others of his family will. The Lord also promises that he will bring judgement on the nation that has enslaved them and will ensure that Abram's people will have great possessions when they return. Abram is seen as someone for whom his actions have justified his faith in God. He is leading a life that is pleasing to God.

What I want to know is how did he feel after being told all these things? Did his behaviour change? Did he feel let down after hearing that he would not live in the promised land and that there would be centuriesof oppression to face? And how to balance that with the promise of as many descendants as stars in the sky?

What we do know is that Abram was acknowledged by the Lord, as a 'righteous person' (verse 6), someone who lived according to the ways of the Lord, trusting in the promises he had heard and acting on them. He's one of the good guys.

To Ponder

  • If you were Abram how would you respond to these revelations?
  • In today's world we see many countries struggling for freedom and an end to oppression, but at a cost of many lives. Has this story anything to teach us about ways to live through such times? If so, what?
  •  How would you describe a 'righteous person'? 

Bible notes author

Susan Johnson

Susan has recently moved house from the north east coast in Durham to the west coast in Cumbria. After completing eight years as the Darlington Methodist District mission and development enabler she is taking time out to explore what next, but hopes to get involved with the local foodbanks in the area.